Tour de France Grand Départ trophy comes to Fenland

Cllr Gary Swan, Cllr Pop Jolley and FDC fitness consultant Teresa Boughton with the trophy at the Manor Leisure Centre, Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams. Cllr Gary Swan, Cllr Pop Jolley and FDC fitness consultant Teresa Boughton with the trophy at the Manor Leisure Centre, Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
10:08 AM

With just more than four months to go before the Tour de France comes to Cambridge, the legendary cycle race’s Grand Départ trophy was on show in Fenland yesterday.

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People got to view it and have their photos taken alongside it at the Manor, Fenland District Council’s New Vision Fitness leisure centre in Station Road, Whittlesey.

Earlier in the day students at Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech and Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey also got the chance to see it.

The Grand Départ trophy is held each year by the city hosting the start of the cycle race. Last year it was held by Corsica. It was officially passed over at the finishing line in Paris to the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, where this year’s race starts on July 5.

The tour of the trophy has been organised by Cambridgeshire County Council as part of the preparations for the third stage of the race, which leaves Parkers Piece in Cambridge on July 7. The trophy will also be visiting East Cambridgeshire, South Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire.

July is set to be a massive month for local cycling enthusiasts - the town and its surrounding area is also the venue for the Circuit of the Fens, one of Britain’s top cycle races, which takes place on July 27.

A big weekend of celebrations is in prospect, with the race organisers. Fenland District Council and members of the local community plan a series of special events and entertainments on July 26-27.

Councillor Pop Jolley, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for leisure and tourism, said: “Everyone who loves cycling will be looking forward to both these massive races coming to the area, particularly the Circuit of the Fens at the end of July. That will attract thousands of people to Whittlesey over that weekend and give the town a big boost.”

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